4th Grade - Cause And Effect, Similarity And Difference, Posing And Answering Questions

Speaking and Listening
Cause and effect, similarity and difference, posing and answering questions
Use traditional structures for conveying information (e.g., cause and effect, similarity and difference, posing and answering a question).
The ability to sequence in chronological order, solicit causes and effects, compare similarities and contrast differences, and pose and answer questions in speaking.

Sample Problems


What does it mean to order, or sequence? (to organize or arrange things in a certain, structured way)


What is a cause? (the reason something happens)


What is an effect? (the result, consequence, outcome of something happening)


What do you compare? (similarities between two or more things)


What do you contrast? (differences between two or more things)

Learning Tips


Relate information of how you go through a “day in your life” through telling a friend, close adult, or family member. Make sure to include step-by-step detailed processes. Use time and order words to sequence your writing or use a numbered list of events. For example, “On weekdays, I wake up and eat breakfast first. Second, I brush my teeth. Then I choose clothes to wear and get dressed. Next I walk to the bus station to go to school…” OR have a list that you use as keywords to make sentences when you speak.

  1. wake up

  2. eat breakfast

  3. brush teeth

  4. choose clothes to wear

  5. get dressed

  6. walk to bus station

Your list or account can be even more detailed if you want!


Write about causes and effects in scientific inventions and discoveries. Think about or research historical events that have forever changed society. For example:

  • What was the cause of Alexander Fleming discovering penicillin, a drug that is still used to cure disease?(He was searching for a cure for staph. Infection and found the mold on accident after returning from a two week vacation.)

  • What are the effects of Alexander Fleming discovering penicillin? It because the most effective, life-saving drug in the world because of its ability to kill many types of bacterial infections.



Choose a story or essay that you have written, or verbally tell a short story like a bedtime story. Whatever it is, make sure you have at least two characters, preferably a “good” and “bad” character. Compare the two characters’ similarities and contrast their differences. When you read or tell your story, emphasize the “good” characteristics of the protagonist and the “bad” characteristics of the antagonist. At the end of story, ask your audience member(s) if they could hear the drastic differences between the “good” and “evil” characters.


Ask different kinds of questions in your presentations and storytelling and inspire others to ask different kinds of questions about your presentations and storytelling. You can use questions in a story like these, especially in character dialogue:

The character wondered, “Should I have done that?”

Where could we go?”

What could we do?”

What could possibly happen next?

You might be asked these questions in a presentation:

Why did you choose this topic?

What is your presentation’s purpose?

What inspired or caused you to share this?

What are struggles or problems did you experience when creating this?

What else would you like the audience to know that the presentation did not include?

Here are questions you could ask your audience:

Do you have any questions?

Can I further clarify any information?

Which part most interested you?

Do any of you relate to this topic, or have prior experience with it?

Have a discussion using all of these different types of questions.


Have the child read or tell their own story out loud and have the listener(s) each draw a picture to go with the text. Did the child give enough details to help the audience or listener draw an accurate picture of the scene? Check with each other and discuss the process.

Extra Help Problems


What is sequential order? (a progressive organization)


What is chronological order? (an organization by time)


What is the difference between sequential and chronological order? (sequential follows a general sequence while chronological is organized by specific time)


What graphic organizer can be used to show order? (Flow Map, timeline)


What are synonyms for a cause? (reason, root, basis, etc.)


What are synonyms for an effect? (result, happening, consequence, outcome, etc.)


How are causes and effects related? (they have a reciprocal, sometimes cyclical relationship where one leads to another)


So can an effect from one cause also be a cause for something else? (yes, although that can be confusing, think of causes and effects like dominoes – sometimes they even make circles)


What graphic organizer can be used to show cause and effect? (Multi-flow Map, cyclical diagram)


What is the difference between comparing and contrasting? (to note what is the same and what is different)


Can you contrast without comparing? (yes)


Can you compare without contrasting? (yes)


What graphic organizer can be used to compare and contrast? (Venn diagram, Double Bubble thinking map)


How do you pose a question? (solidify, or single out, the main topic or idea and create a question including it in the sentence)


What different kinds of questions are there? (fact and opinion)


What kinds of questions could you include in writing? (all kinds of questions)


What stems can questions begin with? (5 Ws and/or H – Who, What, When, Where, Why, How)


What are some keywords that can be used when posing a question? (significance, function, condition, purpose, kind, traits, etc.)


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